Head Retention

Discussion in 'General Beer Brewing Discussion' started by Kinneuchar, Dec 5, 2018.

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  1. Dec 5, 2018 #1

    Kinneuchar

    Kinneuchar

    Kinneuchar

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    Hi Guys
    I moved from extract to BIAB about 6 months ago and have been experimenting with different styles and variations to suit my taste and have recently tried dry hopping. The results have been very good so far, but I suspect head retention has suffered a bit more than I would prefer. I'm certain I came across an article or forum piece that suggested that dry hopping does indeed reduce head retention so if this is the case would adding into the grain bill an extra amount of perhaps flaked barley or wheat help or not.
    My recipe is basically an Anchor Steam Clone
    4.5 kg lager malt
    0.2. kg Munich
    0.2 kg Carapils
    Hops for the boil are Northern Brewer
    37gm @ 60 min
    13gm @ 15 min
    17gm @ 1 min
    Dry hopped wth 25 gm of Opal two days prior to a diactyl rest etc and bottled 7 days later.
    As a Newbie perhaps my recipe or technique is at fault although I think I can comfortably rule out contamination issues, but I do like to see a nice tight head showing itself off.
    All suggestions and advice will be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Dec 5, 2018 #2

    Ghillie

    Ghillie

    Ghillie

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    So carapils... This stuff can actually have a negative effect on head retention. It's an outdated misconception that carapils aids head retention. Truth is, it doesn't. Ask most folk why they use carapils. Answer: "because everyone said to!" Try it without, honestly - even if you don't see an improvement, you won't make it worse.

    How long were the beer in bottles?
    What was your carbonation vols?
    Have you tried another glass? If the glass isn't absolutely spotless, the head will suffer. Also, if it's not the right glass then it will go flat quick. i.e wide top pint glass.

    I have some cheap pint glasses from Tesco and most of my beers seem flat in them. If I use my Brewdog schooner, or one of my many stolen Tennents lager glasses, then the head is perfect. That fancy etching on the bottom helps a lot.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018
  3. Dec 5, 2018 #3

    terrym

    terrym

    terrym

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    I agree with @Ghillie. Are your glasses clean? If you see tiny bubbles down the side they are not clean and if that is the case you may get poor head retention on your beer. I have a dedicated glasses cloth for drying them and sometimes rinse the glasses with clean water before I fill them with beer. Also commercial brewers often use torrified wheat up to 10% max to encourage head retention which may or may not suit your beer style.
     
  4. Dec 5, 2018 #4

    Kinneuchar

    Kinneuchar

    Kinneuchar

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    Thanks for that Ghillie. I'm using a bud schooner for this type of brew, I have a few and pretty much rotate their use, they go through the dishwasher so I'll look into that possibility and give the Carapils a body swerve next time and see what happens. The brew was bottled 19/10/18, and carbonated with 3.7gm per 500 ml aiming for 2.7 vol.
    Cheers!
     
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  5. Dec 5, 2018 #5

    Kinneuchar

    Kinneuchar

    Kinneuchar

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    Thanks Terrym, I'm pretty sure the glasses are OK but I'll give the rinse thing a whirl and see what happens. The Wheat addition seems like the direction I'm headed.
    Cheer!
     

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